Bhadrachalam Temple

About The Temple

Brief Introduction On Bhadrachalam Temple

The Bhadrachalam Temple is the most famous shrine in the country that is dedicated to Lord Rama. It is on a hillock where the river Godavari flows on the left bank. The present Temple was constructed during the 17th century, in the year 1674 C.E. by the then local Tahsildar, Kancharla Gopanna, who is known as the Bhakta Ramadas as he was a fervent devotee of Lord Rama.

The religious and cultural significances

The religious as well as cultural significance of this shrine stems from the epic Ramayana era. This hill place was then a part of the Dandakaranya of the Ramayana where Rama, his wife Sita and brother Laxmana had lived during their vanavasa. Lord Vishnu is said to have appeared at this temple site once again as Rama, long after his Ramavatara form had ended its earthly period. Lord Vishnu did this to fulfill a promise that he had made in his incarnation as Rama to his devotee Bhadra, who continued tapasya through ages or yugas, to seek the grace of Sri Ramachandra. Sri Ramachandra had promised Bhadra Maharshi moksha or liberation after his intensive prayer.

Lord Rama the presiding deity

The presiding deity of the bhadrachalam temple telangana is Sri Rama who is seated with his wife Sita on his lap and with Lakshman his brother to his left. This is why, the temple is also known as the Sri Sita Ramchandra Temple. Since the deity of Rama is a form of Vishnu, the image of Lord Rama in this temple has four hands and holding the Sudarshan chakra. The great scholar Adi Shankara on visiting the temple has described Sri Rama of the Bhadrachalam Temple as Vaikuntha Rama that is the Rama of the celestial abode of the Supreme Creator.

The idol details

The moola virattu or the main deities are two granite idols of Lord Rama and his wife Sita who is seated on his lap and that of Lakshmana, his brother. The unique feature of this idol of Sri Rama is that he holds the conch or the panchajanya in his right hand while the left hand holds the Sudarshana Chakra. All idols of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana have arresting divine beauty. True meditation before these idols will make you aware of the mystical oneness of the idols with that of the Supreme Creator.

Shrines around the main temple

There are no other temple shrines within the Bhadrachalam Temple, but there are two Kshetra Palakas located nearby meant for the main temple. They are Shri Yogananda Jwala Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy or the Lord Narasimha temple and the Sri Annapurna Kasi Vishweswara Swamy or the Lord Shiva temple. In both these temples, the individual deity faces the west that is towards the Godavari River. Both these temples though are sub-temples of the Bhadrachalam, however, are equally important. Both of them are also situated on nearby hillocks of which Lord Shiva’s temple is situated on a higher hillock with all Nava Grahas and Lord Ganesh or the Vignadipathi Vinayakudu.

Daily worship rituals

Each day at the temple begins with Prabhadhotsavam or the awakening ceremony at 4.30 am sharp by the singing of especially composed songs of Tumu Narasimhadas, Sannai Trupets Naubat and poems. With regard to the bhadrachalam temple timings, on Sundays the Abhishekam of Lord Ram is ritually performed at 7.00 am. On all other days of the week, the Abhishekam is carried out at Badruni Sannithi during the same hour that is 7.00 am. The temple closes at night by 8.30 pm after the completion of the last pujas. For the devotees the temple is open for darshan and offering puja to the deity. There is also the scope of giving special puja to Lord Rama through the puja management office.

Special occasions and celebration

There are two major festivals that are celebrated each year traditionally going since the days of Bhakta Ramadas other than the regular bhadrachalam temple puja. Rama Navami is the most important and also most popular festival at the Bhadrachalam Temple. It is celebrated on every Chaitra shuddha navami on the tithi of the auspicious Punarvasu that is the Janma Nakshatra or the birth star of Lord Rama. Also, the Kalyanamahotsavam in honor of Sri Rama and his wife Sita is celebrated either during the last week of March or the first week of April. The Kalyanamahotsavam is particularly celebrated between 10 am and 12.30 pm and the sacred Talambralu is showered upon deities exactly at noontime.

The Vykuntha Ekadasi is the other most important of them and is celebrated either during December or January that is in the Dhanur Masam. The day is either the Pushya or the Margasira shuddha Ekadasi. A ten day festival in honor of Lord Vishnu called the Adhyayanotsavams and Dasavatara Mahotsavams or the ten incarnations of Vishnu precede the Vykuntha Ekadasi festival.

The Vaaggeyakara Mahotsavam is celebrated here every year to commemorate the Bhakta Ramadasa, who was a vaaggeyakara and the devotee of Lord Rama.

Holy pilgrimage for moksha

The Bhadrachalam Temple is rich with religious significance for the Hindu who believes in the trident of Brahma Vishnu and Maheswara. Lord Rama is one among the ten incarnations of Vishnu. This incarnation form he is said to have lived near this Temple site along with his wife and brother during the exile period.

Moreover, it is a site where tapasya or prayers were carried out through the ages by devotee of the Lord to have the grace of a glance of him. Relenting to such ardent devotion even the Lord of the universe relented to appear at this place to give him liberation or moksha. Naturally the bhadrachalam temple puja is very much revered by the Hindus and the place as a pilgrimage spot where the darshan of the doors of the Lord on the Vykuntha Ekadasi will give them liberation like Bhakta Ramdas.

How To Reach

The state owned bus station at Bhadrachalam runs buses that transport people from all parts of Telenga to and fro from Bhadrachalam. Koththagudem is the nearest railway station and is about 40 kms away from the main town of Bhardrachalam also has bus services connecting it from the main town bus station.

Moreover, Bhadrachalam can be reached through the railway services from all other major cities of Telengana or Andhra Pradesh, as well as from other states too. The train services to Koththagudem railway station from major points are:

 

  • Hanumakonda is a small town near the city of Hyderabad and is only 143 kms away from Bhardachalam. The route is usually traversed by buses that connect the two towns regularly.
  • Vijayawada is the nearest large station and the distance from Koththagudem via Khammam is 184 kms. Vijayawada is also the nearest airport to Bhadrachalam.
  • Rajahmundry is the second nearest and is at a distance of 239 km directly from Koththagudem and 190 km when the train comes via Kukkunoor. There are also regular bus services on this route.
  • Hyderabad railway station is about 316 km away and the airport from the railway station is another 10 kms in case you wish to fly to Hyderabad and then take the train to Koththagudem.
  • Vishakapattanam is 370 kms away from Bhadrachalam and is connected by both trains as well as air from Hyderabad.
  • Moreover, there are bus services every hour from Koththagudem that connect Bhadrachalam with Khammam, Tenali, Vijayawada, Nalgonda, Machilipatnam, Kakinada, and Hyderabad.

 

Nearby Attractions

The site of Bhadrachalam Temple is surrounded by the historical places that are closely related to the life time of Incarnation form of Lord Rama. When you go to Bhadrachalam for a pilgrimage you cannot miss these places of interest that are nearby.

  • Parnashala is supposed to be the exact place that was selected by the great sage Agastha where Lord Rama had lived during the exile period with his wife and brother, Sita sn Lakshman. It is about situated at a distance of 35 kms from Bhadrachalam.
  • Jattayu Paaka or the Yetapaka at a distance of 2 kms from the main temple, the place where the injured Jatayu had fallen and waited for Lord Rama after his fierce battle with Ravana on his flight after abducting Sita. Jatayus's wing is supposed to have fallen at Rekkapalli which is about 55 kms from Yetapak.
  • Dummugudem is the place where Lord Rama is supposed to have killed one thousand four hundred demons that were led by Kharadeoshana. Because the village is said to be built on the ashes of the slain demons, it is called Dummugudem.
  • Gundala, at a mere distance of 5 kms from Bhadrachalam has the hot water spring where according to the Brhama Purana, the Hindu Divine Triad of Bhrahma, Vishnu and Maheswara are supposed to have taken dip during winter.
  • Sri Rama Giri is located 55 kms downstream of the Godavari River and has the Yoga Rama Temple situated on this hill giving its name.

History Of Temple

The popular bhadrachalam temple history states that Lord Rama appeared to a woman named Pokala Dammakka in her dreams and told her about the existence of deities or the vigrahas on the Bhadragiri hills. On finding the deities at the place indicated, she is said to have put up a very modest structure over them. This is supposed to be the starting of the present temple. The Bhadrachalam Temple as we have it today was built in 1674 C.E. by Kancharla Gopanna who was popularly known as Bhakta Ramadas. Kancharla Gopanna was a Thasildar of the Palvoncha Paragana under Nawab Abul Hussan, ruler of Golconda.

He was a devotee of Lord Rama and used to collect the taxes while chanting Rama japa all through the day. He was once inspired to visit the temple at Bhadrachalam and on seeing the condition of the structure appealed to the villagers of his pargana to donate for this purpose. When funds were insufficient, the villagers urged Thahasildar Pokala Dammakka to spend money from the tax he had collected to build the temple. When it was time to fix the Sudarshan Chakra on the temple at it’s time of completion, it could not be done when Ramdas got instructions from Lord Rama to take a dip in the holy Godavari where he also found the Chakra.

But Pokala Dammakka or the popular Ramdas constructed the temple with money from this tax collection without informing the Nawab for which he was immediately imprisoned. On constant imploring Lord Rama by Ramdas, the avatar of Vishnu himself interfered and miraculously returned the entire amount to the Nawab. This shook him up who then gave grants to build the temple further. The tradition that the Nawab had begun to send pearls to deities of the temple is still continued by the government sending pearls on the occasion of Ram Navami.